Michael Topham tests Western Digital’s new Wi-Fi hard drive with a built-in SD card slot for wireless back-up on the move

WD-My-passport-wireless  WD My Passport Wireless at a glance:

  • Windows/Mac compatible
  • Wi-Fi, SD card slot and USB 3.0 interface
  • Built-in battery, charged via USB socket
  • Price: £179
  • Website: www.wdc.com

There’s been a flurry of Wi-Fi enabled hard drives hitting the market of late, but Western Digital My Passport Wireless goes one better in the way that it offers an SD card interface, making it an ideal solution for photographers who’d like to back up on the go and control it via WD’s My Cloud app using a smartphone or tablet. Inserting an SD card with 5.45GB of data on it and transferring this to the drive took 11 minutes, 38 seconds – significantly slower than the USB 3.0 interface it also provides, but an acceptable speed nonetheless.

There’s the option to import an SD card data automatically as soon as it is inserted, and imports aren’t interrupted when the Wi-Fi network is changed. The WD My Cloud app also allows users to email, print, or open images in other photo editing apps such as PS Touch or Snapseed.

WD My Passport Wireless – key features

Mobile

Connect to the drive wirelessly and manage your files using the WD My Cloud app on a smart device.

Battery life

Western Digital claims the drive’s rechargeable battery should be able to provide up to six hours of continuous video streaming and up to 20 hours of standby time.

Free up space

It’s possible to backup and transfer your images and video to the drive directly from an SD card, using the built-in reader slot.

WD My Passport Wireless – conclusion

The negative aspects are its six-hour battery life, its fairly plasticky build quality and the fact that the 2TB version is fairly bulky compared with the thinner 1TB and 500GB versions. As a device for photographers who use a camera that accepts SD media though, it’s invaluable for backing up your images when you are on the move or on location when carrying a bulky laptop isn’t a practical option.

SCORE: 5 out of 5

You may also wish to consider

PCorsair Voyager Air 1TB

PCorsair-Voyager-Air

Price: From £112
Webiste: www.corsair.com

With a battery life of up to seven hours and a 90ft wireless range, the Corsair Voyager has a custom app for iOS and Android devices, however, it lacks an SD card port for instant image back-up like the WD My Passport Wireless.

Seagate Wireless Plus 2TB

Seagate-Wireless-Plus-2TB

Price: From £161
Website: www.seagate.com

Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, it boasts an impressive ten-hour battery life and allows users to stream up to three different HD movies to three devices. Much like the Corsair Voyager Air though, it doesn’t support an SD card slot.

LaCie FUEL 2TB

LaCie-Fuel

Price: From £166
Website: www.lacie.com
Supported by the intuitive LaCie Media app, this wireless mobile drive has a ten-hour battery life, a robust build quality and comes available in 1TB or 2TB capacities. The only thing it’s missing is an SD card slot.